Magic Marbles (8 photos)

Can you imagine finding marbles that look like this? Though they seem like something out of a storybook, they’re actually just the work of Caleb, a 16-year-old from New Jersey. He calls this series Life Through a Marble.

I asked Caleb to let us in on his secret. Just how does he create these magical scenes? Here is what he shared:

“To get the landscapes in the marble, I use a Canon XS DSLR camera with a 50mm f/1.8 lens and a 13mm Opteka extension tube. Equipped with the extension tube, the lens enables me to get extremely close to the marble, and to focus on just what is inside the marble. With the focus so close, I am able to get a sharp scene in the marble and the background just becomes a blur of colors.

“After taking the original picture, I use Photoshop Elements and Photoshop CS5 to do simple editing, as well as Picnik to do some very simple editing. This involves flipping the entire image 180 degrees because the image that you are seeing in the marble is actually a refraction, so it is upside down. In addition to the rotation, I do slight color, contrast, light, etc. edits until I am satisfied with the image. To top it all off, I add a drop shadow, which makes the photo look like it is popping out of the screen.

“The magic secret is to simply try new things. I started out just taking pictures holding the marble, but then I realized that I could do more with it. In one of my most recent pictures, “First Snow” (second image in this post), I cropped the marble out of the picture. I then rotated the marble and copy and pasted it onto a separate, blurred and rotated picture of the snowy scene. This gives the illusion of a floating marble.”


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